The earth moved for us in September!

September has seen a huge amount of work going on with the boundary wall and also with a lot of earthworks; digging out foundations for the boundary fence (East and South boundaries), foundations and footings for the woodshed and garage and generally clearing the site of the various piles of rubble/stones, tree stumps that have been uprooted, etc.

Installing formwork for the pillars
Completed – you can see the slope
Looking to the North East corner

At the time of writing this post the blockwork and concrete pillars have been installed on the North boundary.

Looking North to the street (where the bricks are)
Looking South – that pile of wood is all ours

On the West boundary the foundations are dug and they have started pouring the footings.  Perhaps by the time we arrive in 2 weeks (if the weather is kind) the blockwork on the West side will also be complete.

One of the biggest earthmoving jobs has been to build up the driveway.  The little street along our North boundary – where our main entrance gate will be – is at a higher grade than the land.  There is a slight slope down West to East along the street, and quite a drop (1.5m in some areas) North to South onto the property.  So we have had to pile up and compact a little mountain of large stones/rocks, hardcore, rubble and earth to make a sloping driveway from the main gate onto the property. The weather and the constant going over it with a 6 ton JCB type digger has helped to compact it.  The next phase will be to compact the mound more aggressively (with a proper vibrating compactor) then start building a proper foundation on top of the mound for the drive which we will simply finish with reinforced concrete.  The sloping sides will be strengthened with some concrete supports and finished (hopefully) with large stones.

Good view of the sloping drive

We also did a tidy up of the common land on the West side of the property.  This side was where we have accessed the site for the past couple of years, and where deliveries of sand, ballast and other materials, etc. have come on site, concrete has been mixed, rubbish has been piled up – well you can guess it became a bit of a mess.  Anyway, to keep everyone sweet we skimmed the top level near to the house (where concrete had been mixed) and hauled away the various piles of debris to a landfill site (not fly-tipping I promise).  So the mayor (apparently) is very happy with us.

Once the West wall is completely finished we will probably get “our bit” of common land ploughed over and then sow it with some random cover crops, grasses, etc. to green it up – and hopefully it will self-seed so in the future we will be able to occasionally graze some of our critters there or even harvest some hay/fodder from it for winter feeding.

Laying the foundation for the wood/tool shed
Laying the foundation for the wood/tool shed
Garage foundations
Garage foundations

The lads also took advantage of having the JCB (well, it’s a Bulgarian/Russian version of a JCB – but hey it does the job) to dig out and pour the footings and floors for the woodshed and the garage.

During the bad weather the lads have continued working on the inside of the house, mainly in insulating and plasterboarding the kitchen area.  We don’t have any photos of that but we are looking forward to seeing a bit of a transformation there.  It’s all getting very “real” (like one of those reality TV shows such as Grand Designs or The house that 100K built LOL).

It’s just two weeks now until our next visit and we are very excited to see what the site looks like with more “infrastructure” in place.  Hopefully there will be lots of updates for the blog after our trip!

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